So Many Reasons To Visit Switzerland (10 In Fact)

Swiss Lake

Although Europe is the world’s second-smallest continent, it would take you a lifetime to explore all the diverse countries and cultures. That makes it difficult to decide on a European destination.

Make the decision easier and settle for a trip to Switzerland. In addition to being a safe country with stunning scenery, below I have listed even more reasons you should visit Switzerland on your next vacation. 

The Alps (With Exciting Outdoor Activities)

Hiking in the Swiss Alps
Hiking in the Swiss Alps

The Alpine countryside is full of exciting outdoor activities from hiking to winter sports. The hiking trails are well-maintained and numerous throughout Switzerland and offer views of grand snow-capped mountains, dense pine forests, and calm rivers that match the hue of the sky. 

Switzerland has the best and most famous ski resorts in the world with slopes that are easy to access via gondolas, cogwheel rails, and cable cars. You’ll also find winter hiking, snowshoeing, and ice skating in Switzerland. The best time for winter sports is from November to March with ski slopes open until April in the higher altitudes. 

The best time to hit the hiking trails without snow is during June, September, and October. Swimming and boating on Switzerland’s pristine lakes are popular outdoor activities in the hotter months of July and August. 

Beautiful Lakes & Waterfalls

oeschinen lake
Lake Oeschinen

Switzerland is more than just tall mountain peaks and Alpine forests. The small European nation has its fair share of beautiful lakes and waterfalls. There are more than 1,500 lakes that hold six percent of Europe’s stock of fresh water. Some of the most popular larger lakes include Lake Geneva, Lake Lucerne, and Lake Zurich. 

Lake Geneva is the largest lake in the country and one of the largest in Western Europe. It’s popular for sailing, rowing, windsurfing, water skiing, and even scuba diving. Its northern shoreline is dotted with pretty villages and old castles. 

Surrounded by snowy peaks,  Lake Lucerne is a must for cruising on a historic paddlewheel steamer. 

Lake Zurich lies within three cantons and its shoreline features sunny beaches, picturesque villages, and magnificent homes. 

Located near the town of Schaffhausen, a visit to Rhine Falls is a must for waterfall chasers. It’s easy to access via car, bike, and train. You can take a thrilling boat ride through the falls or simply admire them from afar. 

Unsurpassed Public Transportation

Public Transport in Zurich
Public Transport in Zurich

Since Switzerland is right in the middle of Europe, it’s convenient to visit other destinations such as France, Italy, Austria, Germany, and tiny Liechtenstein. They’re all assessable by train, and Switzerland’s public transportation system is well-planned with trains that are exceptionally punctual. 

Exploring Switzerland by rail is a memorable experience with scenic high-altitude routes. The Glacier Express and the Bernina Express are two of the most famous. The Glacier Express runs between the luxury ski resorts of St. Moritz and Zermatt as it passes through breathtaking scenery filled with valleys, gorges, and glaciers on an eight-hour journey. The Bernina Express travels over the Bernina Pass between Switzerland and Italy. The historic UNESCO-listed narrow-gauge line is the highest in the Alps. 

Additionally, Switzerland’s cable car and gondola systems are widespread and you can effortlessly hop from mountain to mountain. 

The Famous Matterhorn

The Matterhorn in Autumn
The Matterhorn in Autumn

The famous Matterhorn mountain peak stands at an astounding height of 14,692 feet and is known as the symbol of Switzerland.  Jutting high in the sky like a giant jagged tooth, it’s the most photographed peak in the world and serves as a logo for Toblerone Swiss chocolates and Paramount pictures. 

With its four-sided pyramid-shaped pinnacle, the Matterhorn has long-challenged mountaineers and is a must-see while in Switzerland for everyone looking for a memorable experience and a good photo. The nearby village of Zermatt is a famous ski resort built around the history of mountaineering. You’ll find luxurious accommodations, spas, winter hiking, and the Matterhorn Museum in Zermatt.  

An open-air cog train will take you from the Zermatt Station to the summit of Gornergrat for amazing views of the Matterhorn. 

Exquisite Swiss Watches

Rolex, Switzerland
Rolex, Switzerland

They come with a hefty price tag, but if you’re looking for an exquisite, high-quality timepiece, you’ll find one almost anywhere in Switzerland. A few of the top luxury watch brands made and sold in Switzerland include Rolex, TAG Heuer, Omega, Schaffhausen, Cartier, and Patek Philippe. 

Even if you’re not in the market for a watch, it’s worth browsing the shops to admire the fine craftsmanship. Swiss watches are made from high-quality materials such as 18-karat gold, titanium, and sapphire crystals. All of the brands are high-caliber,  artisanal, and historically important. 

Beyer Watch Museum & Shop, Zurich
Beyer Watch Museum & Shop, Zurich

Horology has its roots in Switzerland, and watch museums are located all around Switzerland where you’ll learn the fascinating history of Swiss watchmaking.  There is even an amazing watch museum in the heart of downtown Zurich which I was just in the other day!

One Of Europe’s Cleanest Countries

fountain or brunnen in zurich
A water fountain (brunnen) in Zurich

Cities in Switzerland are among the cleanest in the world. The air quality in Switzerland is excellent and is refreshing to breathe. The rivers in Basel, Bern, Lucern, and Interlaken are so clean you can drink water directly from them. The tap water is safe to drink everywhere and tastes fresh and sweet like mineral water.

And, there are “brunnen” or public water fountains all over the cities like Zurich where you can drink freely any time of the day.

Switzerland is also very active in recycling and enforcing anti-littering regulations. The country is known internationally for its efficient system for recycling cardboard and newspapers. 

To Experience Swiss Food

Cheese Fondue sign in Switzerland
Cheese Fondue sign in Switzerland

The Swiss are world-famous for their cheese and chocolate-making, and Switzerland is home to the world’s top brands. More than 400 brands of cheese are produced all around the country. Gruyères is the perfect town to visit for sampling fine cheese and indulging in a traditional fondue, and you’ll find places to sample chocolate in almost every town and city. 

Besides cheese and chocolate, Switzerland has traditional cuisine that is unique and delicious. The dishes can be described as descendants of Italian, French, and Germanic dishes. Enjoy the flavors everywhere from casual eateries to Michelin-star restaurants. 

Some popular Swiss dishes to try include alpine macaroni, fritter-style potatoes called rosti, and Malakoff, a ball of fried cheese found in Western Switzerland. 

Surprisingly, Switzerland is known for its wineries with fine wines. The wines are not as famous as those from other countries like Italy because its mainly consumed by the Swiss. You’ll find wines with a Germanic influence in the German-speaking north between the Rhine River and Zurich. Wines with a French influence are found around Geneva, Vaud, and Valais while the Italian-speaking region around Ticino is known for its Merlot. 

The Nightlife

Freitag Flaghsip store
Supermarket nightclub next to the Freitag Flagship store in Zurich

You’ll find a club for every age and every taste to party at in cities like Zurich and Lausanne. Zurich’s Kaufleuten has hosted famous entertainers such as Prince and Madonna in the past and is one of Switzerland’s best nightspots. 

Bar Rouge in Basel is the city’s tallest bar and features live music and classic cocktails. 

The Penthouse Bar in Lucerne is perfect for cocktails while enjoying breathtaking views. The 360-degree rooftop bar serves signature cocktails and international cuisine. 

Its Unique Political System

Parliament Building from Bundesplatz
Parliament Building from Bundesplatz

Switzerland has a direct democracy that is stable and without the polarization many other countries experience. Together with federalism and neutrality, direct democracy helps unite all of the country’s cultures, religions, and languages. The federal system includes three levels: the Confederation, communes, and cantons. 

Swiss citizens have a direct say at all political levels. Seven Swiss federal councilors meet once a week at the Federal Palace in Bern. Parliament also holds sessions at the Federal Palace four times a year. 

The United Federal Assembly consists of an upper and lower house that elects the federal councilors. The lower house is called National Council and represents the people. The upper house, called the Council of States, represents the cantons. The current parliament has delegates from 11 different parties. 

Its Versatile Climate

swiss mountains bernina pass
Swiss mountains

Although Switzerland is only as big as the small U.S. states of Vermont and New Hampshire combined, you’ll find micro-climates across the area. The climates range from the high altitudes of the snowy Alps with snow that sticks around for up to six months to palm-lined avenues, hot summers, and a mild year-round climate in Ticino and Montreux. Around Lake Geneva and the Rhône Valley, the climate during summer is filled with Mediterranean breezes. 

The versatile climate makes Switzerland an excellent destination all year long. 

Written by Ashley Faulkes
As a twenty-year resident of Switzerland, I am passionate about exploring every nook and cranny of this beautiful country, I spend my days deep in the great Swiss outdoors, and love to share these experiences and insights with fellow travel enthusiasts.

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